Forum: Action being taken to stop bird menace at food outlets

In a photo from Jan 5, 2017, pigeons feed on leftover food on a table at Tekka Market in Little India.
In a photo from Jan 5, 2017, pigeons feed on leftover food on a table at Tekka Market in Little India.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

We thank Mr Ronnie Lim Ah Bee for his feedback (Tackle bird problem at hawker centres, coffee shops, Feb 19).

We agree with him on the need to deal with occurrences of bird-related issues at hawker centres and coffee shops.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) and town councils, which also maintain the common areas of hawker centres, have undertaken several initiatives to do this.

For instance, bird prevention measures, such as bird spikes and stainless steel nylon-coated wire, have been put in place at many hawker centres to prevent birds from perching on the ceiling beams.

NEA has also progressively installed anti-bird netting at the cooked food section of six hawker centres, and town councils have done the same at seven other hawker centres.

These measures have reduced the incidence of birds entering the hawker centres, and we will continue to implement netting at centres where there is a good chance of success and where the layout allows for it.

Patrons can also help to mitigate bird-related issues at hawker centres and coffee shops by not leaving food scraps on the tables, and returning used crockery to the tray return points or automated tray return stations.

This will help to keep the tables clean so that there are no food remnants for birds to feed on.

This is why NEA has been encouraging and has rolled out several initiatives on tray return at hawker centres.

With a high tray-return rate, cleaners can focus on cleaning tables, which will further reduce the incidence of birds feeding on food remnants.

The Singapore Food Agency also requires coffee shop operators to keep their premises clean so that birds are not attracted to the premises.

Andrew Low

Director

Hawker Centres Division

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2020, with the headline 'Action being taken to stop bird menace at food outlets'. Print Edition | Subscribe